Around Town: GOP turnout; Cobb led the way — again
by Otis Brumby, Bill Kinney, Joe Kirby
Around Town Columnists
March 13, 2012 12:00 AM | 4502 views | 5 5 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WITH PRIMARY VOTERS heading to the polls today in the Alabama and Mississippi primaries, it’s worth a quick look back at last week’s Super Tuesday results in the Georgia GOP Primary, which was won by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

As it turned out, Cobb County generated the most votes of any of Georgia’s 159 counties last week. In fact the 86,903 votes cast here represented approximately 10 percent of the statewide total of 900,863. Coming in a distant second was Gwinnett County with 74,234.

Cobb often leads the state in GOP balloting, and did so in the 2008 GOP presidential primary as well.

Such facts help explain the county’s unofficial description as “the center of the Republican Universe.” Cobb is growing steadily more diverse, but the numbers cited above show that, at the least, Cobb remains “the center of the Republican Universe” as far as Georgia is concerned.


GOP TURNOUT STATEWIDE was down 63,000 votes, or about 7 percent, from the 2008 presidential primary. What might that mean for November? President Obama remains deeply unpopular in many parts of the state and in some quarters of Cobb, and Georgia is also described as one of the most conservative states in the country. But often overlooked is that Obama ran well in Georgia in the November 2008 election. He lost to John McCain by a fairly narrow 52-47 margin and actually won a slight majority in the 28-country metro Atlanta area.


POLITICS: Cobb Superior Court Clerk candidate John Skelton will kick off his campaign from 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 20 with a fundraiser at the United Community Bank, 1001 Polk St., in Marietta. …

The Cobb County Republican Women will host a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. March 20 at the party headquarters on Roswell Street to celebrate the party’s 158th birthday, reports Nancy Bodiford.


MORE POLITICS: Larry Savage, who’s running to replace incumbent Tim Lee as Cobb County Commission chairman, was guest speaker at Monday’s Madison Forum luncheon. Speaking at next Monday’s luncheon is fellow chairman candidate Bill Byrne, and speaking the following Monday (March 26) will be the other candidate seeking that position, retired Marine Col. Mike Boyce.

The public is invited to the Forum meetings, which take place at noon at the Rib Ranch on Canton Road. …

A “meet and greet” for Boyce is slated from 2-5 p.m. Sunday at The Acworth Bookstore in downtown Acworth.


THE COBB ALLIANCE FOR SMART ENERGY, the first grassroots movement mobilized to reform Cobb EMC, tells Around Town that it shares the concerns expressed by others in recent days that the Cobb EMC Owners Association has mishandled its candidate endorsement process.

“The endorsements seem to have become virtually meaningless in terms of ensuring the selection of independent, reform-minded candidates to the board,” said Chairman Tom Barksdale.

Critics have complained that allowing Cobb EMC employee/members to take part in the endorsement process amounts to allowing employees to choose their future bosses.

However, the leaders of the Owners Association dispute any such allegations. In fact, David Welden, one of the organizers of the group, and who, with Butch Thompson and John Anderson, make up its executive committee, distributed an email Monday afternoon indicating the Owners Association executive committee had met to discuss the complaints. Those complaints include that Cobb EMC employees who are members of the utility had been told by management who to vote for and were paid to attend last week’s two vetting sessions; and demands that the Owners Association declare multiple “winners” in various areas or conversely, not endorse anyone.

“The committee believes the vetting has occurred with no legitimate evidence of impropriety,” Welden wrote. “Without doubt there will be some who agree with our position while others will continue to voice their disagreement. CEOA tries hard to conduct all of our processes with complete and inarguable fairness to all while also achieving results that are in the best interest of all Cobb EMC members.”

Cobb EMC CEO Chip Nelson told the Journal last week that he had asked both Welden and Thompson for permission to attend the vetting meetings and notify employee-members of them, and both Welden and Thompson confirmed to the Journal that they did in fact welcome participation of company employees who are also members.

The CEOA will conduct its final vetting session at 6 tonight at Thompson’s office, 2131 Moon Station Drive in Kennesaw. Members must show a Cobb EMC bill and a photo ID with an address matching that on the bill. Only one vote per account will be allowed.

Tonight’s session will focus on the 11 candidates in area 5.


PLENTY OF INK has been devoted in recent weeks to the future of the financially embattled Theatre in the Square, but the Marietta Museum of History is also under severe financial duress. The Museum board, which meets every other month, meets at 11 this morning at the Museum.


ANTIQUE MILITARIA collector Ken Myers of Cobb will present a lecture about his vast collection of historic military uniforms at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Marietta Museum of History, where dozens of examples of his collection are on special display this month.

The gallery doors will open at 6 that night so guests can tour the exhibit prior to the lecture. Cost of the event is free to members and $7 for non-members. For more, go to


THE FEB. 26 OSCAR NIGHT FOR AMERICA party at the Cobb Energy Centre raised more than $290,000 for The Center for Family Resources, according to CFR CEO Jeri Barr. Co-chairing the lavish event were Ron and Claire Francis and John and Robin Moore.

AMERICAN LEGION POST 160 in Smyrna will host a “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair for veterans from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday in conjunction with the U.S. and Cobb Chambers of Commerce, Georgia Department of Labor and the Army Reserve. Participants must preregister at ... The Foundation for Economic Education will host conservative journalist John Stossel for “An Evening with FEE” on April 12 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel at the Galleria. Tickets are $125 per person or $200 a couple. Contact Margaret Poteet at


The Third Annual St. Patrick’s Day “Go Green for Green” fundraiser for Superior Court Judge Reuben Green will take place Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the law firm of Brock Clay in downtown Marietta. Suggested guest contributions is $100.


SICK BAY: Retired Southern Bell exec and former Cobb County manager Mack Henderson was scheduled for surgery Monday at WellStar Kennestone and was due to return home today.


THIS WEEK’S “The Vegas Show” at the Earl Smith Strand running Thursday through Saturday will feature Elvis, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Liberace, Justin Bieber and other stars — or, in actuality, local performers portraying them as part of a joint fundraiser for the Strand and the Humane Society of Cobb County, reports spokesman Steve Imler. Tickets are $25. Go to or call (770) 293-0800. ...

Organist extraordinaire Ron Carter of west Cobb, who usually plays at the Strand, will accompany the presentation of silent movie classic “Pandora’s Box” at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center on Briarcliff Road in Atlanta at 6 p.m. March 25. Advance tickets are $10 and include a tour of the mansion. Go to


MDJ business editor Katy Ruth Camp will host “Valari’s Picnic Party for a Cure” from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Brickyard at Marietta Station to raise funds for the team she’s leading in the Susan G. Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure. Camp’s mother, Valari Camp of Marietta, lost her fight with breast cancer a year ago this Friday. Cost to attend the “Picnic Party” is $20, which includes food, drink and live music by The Cosmic West. A football signed by the entire UGA football coaching staff and team notables will be auctioned off at the event

Comments-icon Post a Comment
March 13, 2012
I hope the public will take the opportunity to attend the Cobb EMC candidate forum hosted by the Cobb Alliance for Smart Energy next Tuesday, March 20th.

It will take place at Mountain View Community Center, 3400 Sandy Plains Rd., Marietta 30066.

Social hour begins at 6pm, this is a great opportunity to mix and mingle with the candidates. Forum begins at 7pm.

Come out and meet the candidates, ask them some questions, and form your own opinion.

For more information see the "Cobb EMC Watch" website.
Me Again
March 13, 2012
The MDJ should share this information with the Governor the next time he selects to ignore the needs of Cobb County. Roy would be back in office were it not for the Cobb County Republicans.
March 23, 2012
Maby you should have voted for Roy, he never ignored Cobb County.
While the Mayor
March 13, 2012
is wearing his Auditor and Bankruptcy Judge “hats” perhaps he should also look at the Marietta Museum of History’s books, I’m sure he can offer strong suggestions on what cuts should be made to lower expenses and relieve their severe financial duress as well.
March 13, 2012
The Center of the Republican Universe with a Chamber led by Democrats.

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